Updated: Friday, 20 December 2013 22:48 | By Agence France-Presse

Vijay, Pujara extend Indian lead

Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara extended India’s lead over a depleted South African team on the third day of the first Test at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.


Vijay, Pujara extend Indian lead

Murali Vijay leaves the field after being dismissed by Jacques Kallis at Wanderers Stadium on December 20, 2013

Vijay and Pujara put on 70 for the second wicket as India reached 109 for two at tea, an overall lead of 145 on a pitch on which run-scoring has been difficult.

Veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis ended the partnership when he had Vijay caught by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers for 39, with the batsman glancing the ball down the leg side. Pujara was unbeaten on 39.

South Africa were without tall fast bowler Morne Morkel, who was taken for scans after turning over on his right ankle chasing a ball in the outfield shortly before lunch.

Morkel’s injury meant an increased workload for South Africa’s other bowlers, who endured a frustrating afternoon.

Vijay and Pujara batted with discipline, leaving the ball well outside the off stump and forcing the bowlers to bowl a straighter line, which created opportunities for the batsmen to work the ball to the leg side for runs.

With leg-spinner Imran Tahir conceding nine runs in his only over, South African captain Graeme Smith turned to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers to bowl the last over before tea, with Hashim Amla taking over the gloves.

India’s solid second innings came after Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma finished with four wickets apiece as South Africa were bowled out for 244, giving India a first innings lead of 36.

South African opening bowler Vernon Philander claimed his 100th Test wicket in his 19th Test when he had Shikhar Dhawan caught at second slip for 15.

Philander reached the 100 wicket mark faster than any other South African, achieving the feat in one Test fewer than teammate Dale Steyn.

South Africa made a confident start to the day after resuming on 213 for six, with Philander punching two short-pitched deliveries from Ishant Sharma through the covers for four. The first boundary brought up his third Test half-century.

Sharma and Khan soon found their rhythm, again bowling mainly to a full length on a pitch with unpredictable bounce.

The left-armed Khan made a ball nip away off the seam to have Philander caught behind for 59, made off 86 balls with seven fours. It ended a seventh wicket partnership of 80 with Faf du Plessis.

Steyn struck two boundaries before fending a sharply-lifting ball from Ishant Sharma to Rohit Sharma at third slip.

Du Plessis was caught behind off Khan after making 20 off 77 balls and Khan wrapped up the innings when he bowled Morkel.

Khan finished with four for 88 and Ishant Sharma took four for 79.

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